The Rewatch Diaries: High Fidelity Edition
Who are you making a mixtape for?
This will absolutely get cut off in your email. So open in your browser, share, and then tell me your top 5 heartbreaks……or just your top 5 albums.
I don’t know why I love rewatching things. There is the comfort in knowing what’s going to happen, knowing exactly when I’m going to laugh, and knowing precisely what episode/scene to go to when you’re looking for that certain something.
I know for me, when I find something I enjoy I want to savor it. Rewatching shows allows me to do just that, so I’m sharing some of my favs with you and bringing you along for the ride of nostalgia with my Rewatch Diaries.
I’m gonna pick a show (with your help), watch it, and share my thoughts — plus a whole buncha details and breakdowns that I think are interesting!
These are long reads! You can enthusiastically read in one sitting, come back to it as you do your own rewatch, or read it after you watch it for the first time and share your thoughts.
So have fun and let me know how you feel!
I’m making this first one available to all subscribers but future ones will be for paid lovelies only, so if you haven’t take a minute and hit the cute button to upgrade to paid for future diaries!
Sooooo every time I do these I’ll mention these sites to help out with spoilers and trigger warnings. They could be dope to add to your list when you’re watching new shows or movies!
Does The Dog Die — A site that literally tells you if there is harm to an animal in a movie or show, but also tells you if there are things that could be emotionally triggering. There are tons of categories to click through so this is weird to say but — look for your trauma?
Rotten Apples — This site tells you if something you are watching has anyone affiliated with the film that has been involved with any sexual misconduct in or out of the industry.
Unconsenting Media — Another site that lets you know if anything sexually icky or uncomfortable is present.
These are dope sites for folks who wanna know what they are getting into without spoilers. I try to steer clear of shows that have these things going on but you never know when stuff slips in. I’ll also be using Letterboxd and The Cherrypicks!
History with High Fidelity film (2000):
I think I saw it a few years ago but I don’t remember, I know I watched it a few weeks before the 2020 show came out tho.
I think a lot of folks think this movie is from the 80s. Maybe because we just associate John with the decade and vinyl making a hefty appearance but no, it’s from the year 2000, good old Y2K. Rob’s girlfriend Lauren breaks up with him and in order to figure out why, he asks his old girlfriends why he was a bad partner and why they ended. He’s trying to figure out why this one relationship he actually wanted ended, and tries to get it back throughout the film. He owns a record store and speaks and connects through music.
It has a lot of little mini-stories inside it and I thought it was pretty good. Rob is kinda unlikeable but in a likable way I guess? It’s def coming off the early 90s romcom vibe but a pretty darn good intro into early aughts romcoms. The only crimson-esque flag is that white boys LOVE this movie and feel very seen by Rob. He is kind of a man-child and not fully into accountability so hmmm interesting that they love that.
This was filmed in Chicago! In the movie, his record shop Championship Vinyl is on the corner of Milwaukee and Honore in Wicker Park. I have walked past this corner a million times, I used to live about 15 minute walk away from it and hung out in the area a lot. They also go to the still-open Music Box (My fav theatre), the still-around Rainbo Club (I used to go here a lot and have a very cool story about an artist I randomly met), and the now-closed Double Door (the first queer parties I went to in Chicago were in the basement).
High Fidelity (2020):
February 2020. I watched this the moment it dropped pretty much and I think I watched it several times in the week. I’ve watched it a few more times since but I really dug it the first time around.
I knew it was going to be about a break-up and relationships because I’d seen the movie. I liked knowing that it was going to get gay, and that we were really going to dive into everything. I was also really REALLY excited about the music!
Date I started my re-watch:
March 2022, for no other reason but wishing that Hulu would somehow see that I was watching and change their mind about not having a season 2. Like, they would see my account was watching and be like “WAIT BITCHES SHELLI IS WATCHING AND SO THEREFORE WE MUST RENEW THIS SERIES!!!”
Then I watched it again this week (July 4 2023) it took me a day and a half to rewatch the entire series.
Feelings on the show before I started my re-watch:
It has the same premise as the movie basically but with some little diversity twists. I kind of liked Zoe Kravitz but I wasn’t the biggest fan of her work until this show. I was excited it was coming out because I dug the film, AND I felt like this was one of the few remakes with the good old diversity twist that felt like it wasn’t too forced.
I get pieces of Rob, I totally do. I don’t get Rob enough to go and run thru a relationship Rolodex and ask any exes what was wrong with me or why we ended but — I get her nonetheless. I would eat Chinese food in the bath while watching a movie so there is def that.
Aired On: Hulu
Original Airing Date: February 14 2020 — dropping a series about breakups on Valentine’s Day when the pandemic first hit and folks were about to get extra lonely was WILD.
Episodes 1-3 also aired on Freeform
Hulu’s parent company is The Walt Disney Company. Freeform is owned by ABC Family Worldwide…which is a sub-division of Disney Entertainment…which is a division of The Walt Disney Company.
It was obvs a bid to get folks into the series by using a channel in their company that has viewers in the demographic that fit the vibe. BUT the issue is majority of those viewers had probably already streamed the whole series at the point OR streamed a few episodes and lost interest. Those 3 episodes on Freeform probably ended up being dead air for stuff like Nielsen ratings.
Starring: Zoë Kravitz, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Jake Lacy, David H. Holmes
Number of Seasons: 1
Number of Episodes: 10
Runtime per episode: 26-34 minutes
How it ended: Canceled!!! A FUCKING TRAVESTY I SAY!!
I was pretty sad about it….
….and remained pissed about it 2 years later when other shows that weren’t as good were on their season 2.
Safe to say I was holding a grudge against a gazillion-dollar streaming service.
Drama Drama Drama: In 2020 Zoe called out Hulu in her IG comments under a post saying she would miss the crew and cast. She did this after her fellow light-skinned, triple-named, bisexual Tessa Thompson left a comment saying she would miss the show and cast too. Zoe sarcastically responded “At least Hulu has a ton of other shows starring women of color we can watch. Oh wait.”
She deleted the post but people are petty so of course there are screenshots!
In 2022 she had an interview with Elle where the writer said she had thin braids, and she doubled down on how basically wild and stupid it was that Hulu axed the series after one season.
ALSO in 2022 stuff surfaced about her being a predator to Jaden Smith after she was criticizing the infamous slap — this has nothing to do with the show but is worth talking about.
DOUBLE ALSO this is when stuff from 2017 stuff resurfaced where she was talking about how unnecessary it was to put Black in front of everything to be proud.
YIKEY CENTRALTOWN USA…..wild that after all that chat about woc and the importance of the show having one leading it that this began to resurface. I mean, maybe she had changed between 2017-2020 but still, it was not a good look.
The main drama for me was that season 2 was going to be focused on Cherise and move Rob and her things to the background a bit and WOW that would have been a wonderful season. To me, that means that then season 3 prob would have been focused on Simon and 4 would have a wrap-up for them all but now we will never know.
Xtra Xtra Xtra:
It was filmed in Brooklyn.
Her mom Lisa Bonet was in the original film so that’s a cute little extra button!
Music Matters: The soundtrack is a deliggggghhhhttttt!!
Five points if after you watch you can say the order of the exes by heart.
Our main babe. Rob owns the record shop and at the top of the series, Mac breaks up with her. She spends the series going through her top 5 greatest heartbreaks to figure out who she is in a relationship. Rob is kind of an asshole, kinda selfish, and loves to sulk. She smokes, drinks, and lives and breathes through music — it’s the only thing that hasn’t let her down.
Perfection and pure gold. Works at the record shop and feels she is destined to be a star. Not only does she know a lot about music, she is also a singer, and is learning to play the guitar on her way to greatness. She has layers okay and we don’t get to delve into them enough.
Rob and Simon met when she was doing a DJ set at some dodgy bar. They both love music, pretentious films, and whiskey. They were too much of a match. To the point where they should just be best friends, not partners. Also, he works at the record shop with her so yes….her ex is on the payroll baybee!
This is the first person Rob hooks up with after her big breakup with Mac. He has a car and good taste in breakfast foods. He is a dull white man.
A little starry-eyed cutie with an accent that Rob ends up “connecting with” during her moment of revisiting her exes. Has nice teeth and sings Boyz II Men songs acoustically.
Rob’s first boyfriend in like middle school. A dull Caucasian child with average taste in music and fluffy hair.
Caucasian. Crazy. Verified. Sortakindaactually racist. This is Rob’s dip in the sapphic waters. Their meeting was cute but their breakup was wild. Imagine standing in the rain and realizing that one of the main reasons she didn’t want you is ‘cos you weren’t white — YIKERTOWN CENTRAL!
LOL THIS GUY IS AWFUL. A stand-up comedian who should 100% sit down. It’s giving Dane Cook. May or may not wear scoop neck tee shirts.
Mac is The One. The One she wasn’t expecting that became The One. The montage of their relationship in the pilot is so beautiful. I don’t want to spoil it in case you haven’t seen it but I am curious what your thoughts are on him and their relationship. Also, Kingsley is playing Bob Marley in the upcoming biopic and idk…I don’t hate it.
Honestly, it was great. If you were coming as a fan of the movie it made sense, but if you were new to it it was still hella interesting. We got to get a pretty full introduction of all the characters and the story was set up smooth as hell.
We really got into the location and the New York of it all, made it obvious that music was going to play a huge part, AND even hinted at the fact that the other characters were going to have some nice full side stories of their own.
Not my FAVORITE pilot (that honour currently goes to Mad Men) but it was a pretty good set-up for the series!
Relationships / Friendships / Situationships That I Cared About The Most…
Rob & Mac — The major relationship of the series, there’s a breakup…I won’t tell you why…and he is basically the one that got away. They work together to me but I’m biased because I love Kingsley and refuse to not.
Rob & Cherise — TBH, I didn’t like how Rob treated Cherise at all. Their friendship is interesting, Rob is a jerk with everyone but it seems like she is the harshest with Cherise? Very dismissive of her, her dreams, and just lots of who she is. I didn’t like it and there was a much better way to make Rob stay the asshole person without making her hella rude to the other Black woman in the series. Cherise gives it back to her but damn I didn’t like this set-up.
Rob & Kat — IDK I kinda just love that they exposed this white woman for dating this Black girl because she was a cool stamp on her dyking bingo card ‘cos lol that is fucking real.
Rob & Clyde — How dare you make me feel bad for this dull white man.
Episode 9 “Fun Rob” — So much about this episode kicked fucking ass. The rooftop, the stairwell, the bridge — this episode is perfect and he acted his ASS OFF IN THAT FUCKING STAIRWELL
Date I finished my rewatch: July 5 2023
Feelings on the show after I ended:
I thought it was really good. A really nice class in taking a classic and giving it a modern twist to introduce it to a new audience, without being cheesy or doing too much. It shows love and romance in a different light, it gets kinda rough and bumpy and doesn’t necessarily have a typical happy ending. The stories had breathing room, when they hopped around it still made sense, and all the characters were written really well, even the smaller ones like the folks in Robs’ family. They made sense in her life.
I wish this was filmed in Chicago. I love New York and shows filmed there and the way the city is painted and stuff but also, this would have looked just as dope in Chicago. It’s such a musical city and has all the neighborhoods for filming. The original was filmed here and I think that ode would have been dope.
It would not have stopped them from canceling it but hey.
How did it age?: I mean, it just came out like two years ago so I’d say really well. There is lots of representation — Blackness, fatness, queerness, dark-skinned folks, a new family — and there also aren’t any slurs present.
Did it get gay?!: YETH THERE IS SOME DYKIN’ AND SOME GAYIN’ GOIN ON ROUND HERE.
Where to watch: Only on Hulu!
Next Up: Don’t Trust The B in Apartment 23 OR Black Monday — YOU PICK!!
I loved Don’t Trust The B…. and I have an obsession with Krysten Ritter. It’s actually pretty campy and very cunty and very very 2000s in all the best ways.
Lovecraft Country was expertly written, acted, and filmed, and living in the city where so much of it takes place has made me wanna revisit it. Plus Wunmi Mosaku….that’s enough reason to watch anything.